3. Song – ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries (BC-104)

Topic Progress:

Now that we’ve learned our Em chord and G major variation, we can apply these to a new song – ‘Zombie’ by the Cranberries:

The basic chord progression is Em, C major, G major, D major and is played in 4/4 time, like our previous song, ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’. If you recall from our previous lesson, this means we will count “1 … 2 … 3 … 4 …” if we are strumming using only quarter note strumming patterns (downstrokes only), and “1 … & … 2 … & … 3 … & … 4 … & …” if we use eighth note strumming patterns (downstrokes and upstrokes). If you want to practice playing along to a metronome, the tempo is 84 bpm.

We’ll be playing a simplified version of the song using one of the eighth note the strumming patterns we learned previously, but if you listen closely to the introduction of the song, you’ll notice that the strumming pattern used on the recording is twice as fast as the one we are using. This is because the recording is using a sixteenth note strumming pattern. Don’t worry too much about this at the moment – we’ll be looking at sixteenth note strumming patterns later in the course.

You might also notice that the chords sound slightly different – this is because the recording uses variations of the basic chords we’ve just learned. Again, don’t worry too much about the differences between the what’s on the recording and what we’re learning – all we want to do at the moment is to learn our open chords and get used to the basic strumming patterns we have learned – we’ll be moving onto more advanced techniques as we progress through our lessons.

Eighth Note Strumming Pattern – Skipping an Upstroke and a Downstroke

As mentioned, we’ll be using one of the eighth note strumming patterns we learned for our previous song, ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’. In this strumming pattern, we skip the first up stroke (on the first ‘and’ count) and the third downstroke (on the count of three), as shown in the guitar tab below:

Em:1[E Minor]
C:1[C Major]
%3/2.2/1.0/0.0/0.3/3.3/4#G#
D:1[D Major]

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes =|: :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 text :w,|,.1,Em,|,C, ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 =:| text :w,.1,G,|,D, ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

 

As before, to get a feel for the rhythm of the strumming pattern, you can practice strumming the pattern on it’s own by placing the fingers of your fretting hand (the hand you use to play notes on the fretboard) lightly across the strings on the fretboard to mute the strings. Once the strings are muted, use your strumming hand to practice strumming the rhythm, as you can hear in the audio example below:


 

Chord Change Strategies

If you’re having trouble with some of the chord changes, it’s always best to practice each change in isolation, then put this together into the full song. The examples below show each of the chord changes required for the song. Practice each of these in turn, then focus on those changes you find the most difficult. You may find you need to spend more time on some changes than others. Once you have mastered each of the changes, you can practice playing the full song.

Tip 1: If you are stumbling with the chord changes and strumming patterns, you might find it easier to focus solely on the chord changes, then come back to the strumming pattern once you are confident with your chord changes. Try using a simple quarter note strum using downstrokes only (count “1 … 2 … 3 … 4” and use a downstroke on each count), then have a go at the strumming pattern.
Tip 2: Another way to make things easier is to play an open string strum on the upstroke before you change to the next chord. We covered this technique in a previous lesson, and it can come in really handy for making smooth chord transitions. The tab below has an (O) symbol above the strokes where you can use this technique. Whether or not you use this technique is up to you, but it might make things easier while you get to grips with the chord changes.

Chord Change – Em to C

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes =|: :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 =:| text :8,|,.1,Em, , , , , , ,(O),|,C, , , , , , ,(O), ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

Chord Change – C to G

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes =|: :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 =:| text :8,|,.1,C, , , , , , ,(O),|,G, , , , , , ,(O), ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

Chord Change – G to D

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes =|: :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 =:| text :8,|,.1,G, , , , , , ,(O),|,D, , , , , , ,(O), ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

Chord Change – D to Em

options width=800 stave-distance=30 tabstave notation=true tablature=false time=4/4 notes =|: :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 | :qS Bd/4 :8S Bd/4 :qS Bu/4 :8S Bu/4 :8S Bd/4:8S Bu/4 =:| text :8,|,.1,D, , , , , , ,(O),|,Em, , , , , , ,(O), ++,.13,.font=Times-8-,:8,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&,|,1,(&),2,&,(3),&,4,&

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